Preschool children are innately curious and are at the perfect age to start learning about force and motion. There are several ways in which you can teach a preschooler about this concept. Best of all, you can do it in a way that is fun and interactive.
Go to the Playground
Teach children about force and motion through play equipment at the playground, such as the teeter tooter, the swing, and the slide. For instance, by pushing a child on the swing set, you can show that applying force makes the child and the swing move. You can also sit on one side of a teeter-totter while the child sits on the other side, and show him what happens.
Move a Ball
Place a lightweight ball and a meter stick on the floor. Ask your preschool child to move the ball to the end of the meter stick without using her hands or feet. Pick her brain on ideas how to do this and then show her that blowing on the ball can make it move. Don’t forget to have your child move the ball by blowing on it. This is a great way to teach your child about invisible forces.
Utilizing a chart paper, list several motions, such as slide, bounce, roll, and fly, and give the child pictures of various vehicles, toys, and animals. Ask him how each object moves, and have him glue each picture under the appropriate category of motion.
Play with Toy Cars
As a preschool child plays with toy cars, explain to her how the cars move. You can use building blocks to create ramps, and use the action of the car going down the ramp to explain force and motion.
Show the child the power of magnetic force. Take a stick, tie a string to it, and then tie a magnet to the end of the string. Glue magnets to the back of pieces of construction paper cut as fish, and ask your child to “fish” using the magnetic fishing pole.
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